Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Norway gunman warns of terror cells

Anders Behring Breivik sits in an armoured police vehicle after leaving the Oslo courthouse (AP)
The alleged gunman walking among victims at Utoya island (AP/Marius Arnesen/Scanpix)
People stand by tributes in memory of those killed in the shooting massacre on the Norwegian mainland across the water from Utoya island (AP)

The man who has confessed to carrying out a bombing and shooting spree that left 76 people dead in Norway will be held for eight weeks, half of that in complete isolation, after a closed hearing in which he said his terror network had two other cells.

Anders Behring Breivik has confessed to the attacks but denied criminal responsibility, pleading not guilty on Monday to one of the deadliest modern mass killings in peacetime. He told the court he wanted to save Europe and send a strong signal, Judge Kim Heger said after a closed court hearing.

Breivik could tamper with evidence if released, and will be held for at least another two months without access to visitors, post or media, the judge said. Typically, the accused is brought to court every four weeks while prosecutors prepare their case, so a judge can approve his continued detention. Longer periods are not unusual in serious cases.

Breivik made clear in an online manifesto that he planned to turn his court appearance into theatre, preparing a speech for his appearance in court even before launching the attacks, then requesting an open hearing in which he would wear a uniform. Both of those requests were denied.

The suspect has said he staged the bombing and youth camp rampage as "marketing" for his manifesto calling for a revolution that would rid Europe of Muslims.

"The operation was not to kill as many people as possible but to give a strong signal that could not be misunderstood that as long as the Labour Party keeps driving its ideological lie and keeps deconstructing Norwegian culture and mass importing Muslims then they must assume responsibility for this treason," according to the English translation of Judge Heger's ruling that was read out after the hearing.

Breivik alluded to two other "cells" of his network - which he imagines as a new Knights Templar, the medieval cabal of crusaders who protected Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. At one point, his manifesto briefly referred to an intention to contact two other cells, but no details were given.

The original death toll had been put at 93, but police said figures for the youth club camp shootings had been reduced to 68 from 86. They added that the toll in the bomb blast in Oslo had gone up to eight, from seven, bringing the total for both attacks to 76.

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